If you've recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be frustrated by swings in your blood sugar that you can't seem to control. It takes time to learn how to adjust your diet and medications so your blood sugar stays in the normal range. It's important to keep trying, since high blood sugar can harm your body in many ways. It can even affect the health of your teeth and gums. Here are some dental problems to watch out for as you live with diabetes.
Your body has a harder time fighting infection when you have diabetes. That puts your mouth at a higher risk for dental and gum infections. You might even develop a fungal infection in your mouth. Once you have an infection, it can take longer for it to heal than it would for someone without diabetes.
Slow-Healing Dental Work
Slow healing also affects dental work you may have done, and it can cause mouth and gum injuries to heal slower due to the reduced blood flow in your gums. That doesn't mean you have to avoid dental work. You can even have implants when you have diabetes. However, be sure your dentist knows about your condition and that your blood sugar is controlled before major dental work is done.
Gum disease is a complication of diabetes, and gum disease might even affect your diabetes, since infections in your body can sometimes make it difficult to control your blood sugar. It's important to see your dentist regularly and have dental cleanings done so you can prevent gum disease. High blood sugar creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria that invade your gums, and that can lead to deep infections in your gums and even your jawbone.
Watch for signs of gum disease such as inflamed gums and bleeding when you brush so you can let your dentist know. Early treatment can prevent the progression of gum disease and even reverse it. If the condition advances, you could lose your teeth.
Dry mouth is sometimes a complication of diabetes. Dry mouth is harmful to your teeth because saliva is needed to rinse bacteria from your teeth throughout the day. Your dentist can recommend ways to manage your dry mouth so your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible.
You may need to work with several medical specialists when you have diabetes so you can keep your blood glucose from being high and prevent damage to your body. While your doctors will monitor your disease, your dentist can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Make an appoint with a dentist in your area to better manage your health.